Tallgrass prairie once covered over 85 percentof the total land area of the state of Iowa. Currently, less than .01 percent of the original ground cover remain. The remnant prairies largely exist in small blocks along railroad right-of-ways, cemetery edges, and other marginal locations. Prairie is a diverse ecosystem consisting of grasses, legumes, sedges, and non-legume forbs. In addition to the plant communities, prairie provides habitat for a wide range of native birds, mammals, and beneficial insects. In 2016, the dominant land use in Iowa is agriculture with over 75 percent of the total area of the state planted to corn and soybeans. STRIPS (Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips) seeks to integrate conservation and rowcrop production.
Youngquist, Tim and Witte, Chris
"Integrating Strips of Native Prairie into Rowcrop Agriculture Fields,"
Farm Progress Reports: Vol. 2015
, Article 29.
Available at: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/farmprogressreports/vol2015/iss1/29